Does the study contribute any meaningful evidence that can be used in nursing practice or that is useful to the nursing discipline?
Hypertension Management in Patients Receiving Hemodialysis: The
Benefits Of Home BP Monitoring
Guide to an Overall Critique of a Quantitative Research Report
Aspect of the Report Critiquing Questions Detailed Critiquing
Title • Is the title a good one, succinctly suggesting key variables and the study population?
Abstract • Does the abstract clearly and concisely summarize the main features of the report (problem, methods, results, conclusions)?
Statement of the Problem
• Is the problem stated unambiguously, and is it easy to identify?
• Does the problem statement build a cogent and persuasive argument for the new study?
• Does the problem have significance for nursing?
• Is there a good match between the research problem and the paradigm and methods used? Is a quantitative approach appropriate? Box 6.3, p. 111
Hypotheses or Research Questions • Are research questions and/or hypotheses explicitly stated? If not, is their absence justified?
• Are questions and hypotheses appropriately worded, with clear specification of key variables and the study population?
• Are the questions/hypotheses consistent with the literature review and the conceptual framework? Box 6.3, p. 111
Literature Review • Is the literature review up-to-date and based mainly on primary sources?
• Does the review provide a state-of-the-art synthesis of evidence on the research problem?
• Does the literature review provide a solid basis for the new study? Box 7.1, p. 127
Conceptual/Theoretical Framework • Are key concepts adequately defined conceptually?
• Is there a conceptual/theoretical framework, rationale, and/or map, and (if so) is it appropriate? If not, is the absence of one justified? Box 8.1, p. 143
Protection of Participants’ Rights
• Were appropriate procedures used to safeguard the rights of study participants? Was the study subject to external review by an institutional review
board/ethics review board?
• Was the study designed to minimize risks and maximize benefits to participants. Box 5.2, p. 93
Research Design • Was the most rigorous possible design used, given the purpose of the research?
• Were appropriate comparisons made to enhance interpretability of the finding?
• Was the number of data collection points appropriate?
• Were appropriate comparisons made to enhance interpretability of the findings?
• Did the design minimize biases and threats to the internal, construct, and external validity of the study (e.g., was blinding used, was attrition minimized?)
Box 9.1, p. 170
Population and Sample • Was the population identified and described? Was the sample described in sufficient detail?”
• Was the best possible sampling design used to enhance the samples representativeness? Were sample biases minimized?
• Was the sample size adequate? Was a power analysis used to estimate the sample size needs? Box 10.1, p. 183
Data Collection and Measurement • Are the operational and conceptual definitions congruent?
• Were key variables operationalized using the best possible method (e.g., interviews, observations, and so on) and with adequate justification?
• Are the specific instruments adequately described and were they good choices, given the study purpose and study population?
• Does the report provide evidence that the data collection methods yielded data that were high on reliability and validity? Box 10.2, p. 193-194
Box 11.1, p. 209
Procedures • If there was an intervention, is it adequately described, and was it properly implemented? Did most participants allocated to the intervention
group actually receive it? Was there evidence of intervention fidelity?
• Were data collected in a manner that minimized bias? Were the staff who collected data appropriately trained? Box 10.2, p. 193-194
• Were analyses undertaken to address each research question or test each hypothesis?
• Were appropriate statistical methods used, given the level of measurement of the variables, number of groups being compared, and so on?
• Was the most powerful analytic method used? (e.g., did the analysis help to control for confounding variables)?
• Were Type I and Type II errors avoided or minimized? Box 12.1, p. 243
Findings • Was information about statistical significance presented? Was information about effect size and precision of estimates (confidence intervals)
• Are the findings adequately summarized, with good use of tables and figures?
• Are findings reported in a manner that facilitates a meta-analysis, and with sufficient information needed for EBP? Box 12.1, p. 243
Interpretation of the Findings
• Are all major findings interpreted and discussed within the context of prior research and/or the study’s conceptual framework?
• Were causal inferences, if any, justified?
• Are the interpretations consistent with the results and with the study’s limitations?
• Does the report address the issue of the generalizability of the findings? Box 13.1, p. 261
Recommendations • Do the researchers discuss the implications of the study for clinical practice or further research – and are those implications reasonable and
complete? Box 13.1, p. 261
• Is the report well written, well organized, and sufficiently detailed for critical analysis?
• In intervention studies , was a CONSORT flow chart provided to show the flow of participants in the study?
• Was the report written in a manner that makes the findings accessible to practicing nurses?
Researcher Credibility • Do the researchers’ clinical, substantive, or methodologic qualifications and experience enhance confidence in the findings and their
Summary Assessment • Despite any identified limitations, do the study findings appear to be valid – do you have confidence in the truth value of the
• Does the study contribute any meaningful evidence that can be used in nursing practice or that is useful to the nursing discipline?
*Page numbers refer to the location of the box in Essentials of Nursing Research, 8e
Polit, D.F. & Beck, C.T. (2014). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice.
Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Lingerfelt, K., & Hodnicki, D. (2012). Hypertension Management in Patients Receiving Hemodialysis: The Benefits of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring. Nephrology Nursing
Journal, 39(1), 31-37 7p.
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